Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions that I get asked about freelance writing and editing projects. Don’t see your question answered here? Contact me by phone or e-mail for a quick and courteous response!
What are your specialties?
I am one of those rare birds who combines a strong technology and management background with a long writing career, including authoring several critically acclaimed popular business books and a widely-used computer graphics textbook. This means that I can grasp very complex subjects and produce national-caliber publication material for a broad range of subject areas and clients. Some of my recent projects include:
· Ghostwriting two “A-list” business thought leadership books for corporate CEOs.
· Science writing for government and academia, in areas ranging from systems thinking and analysis modeling techniques to public health.
· Conference proceedings for scientific and social science meetings.
· Technical writing for high-end software and manufacturing firms.
· Freelance articles and business reports.
Living and working in the shadow of Cornell University, I am particularly comfortable with helping very bright people express their ideas through high-quality publications.
How much does it cost to work with you?
I am very competitive with going rates in the industry - resources such as Writers Digest can give you a sense of what the numbers are. Because I work extremely quickly, have a short learning curve for complex material, and have been doing this for many years, clients usually find me to be surprisingly cost-effective.
I am proud to have developed very productive long-term relationships with a vast majority of the people I work with. A big part of these good relationships come from working hard to keep the cost of a project as low as possible, and giving clients exactly what they want.
You write for a lot of large organizations. What about individuals who need help with a thesis, professional article, editorial, etc.? Can you help?
Yes, I enjoy working with individuals. What I normally do in cases like yours is set a fixed budget within your parameters, and then scope out what we can accomplish within that fixed budget—which may be as simple as reviewing your work, doing some sample editing, and then showing you how to improve the rest of your piece.
You’ll be surprised what a difference it makes having an experienced professional writer review your work. Just remember that I am usually very busy, so the more lead time you have, the better!
Can you ghostwrite my book or article?
Certainly. I do this all the time. Ghostwriting is a legitimate, accepted practice of having a professional writer express your ideas and your content with a level of clarity and readability that few non-writers can. Many publications by busy, successful people are in fact ghostwritten. As long as your project does not cross any legal or ethical boundaries, I am usually happy to discuss helping you write it.
Just one caveat - for contractual reasons, I generally cannot write about customer service or workplace culture topics that compete with my own published books on these subjects.
Can you help me get published?
It depends. Your ability to interest a publisher depends upon several factors, including the quality of your writing (I can help with that part), your credentials, and the level of market interest in your topic. (An article on pickled beets would be a tough sell no matter who edits it, as would the 140th book on how to use the Internet.)
While I have helped clients get published and even win awards for their writing, I don’t believe in over-promising in this area - make sure you know your market and your prospects, and then use a professional writer if it helps you reach your goals. As someone who is a successful nonfiction author myself (over $1 million in gross book sales and counting), I can certainly help you explore submission and/or self-publishing options.
One more note on this subject. I believe in limiting your up-front expenses as much as possible when it comes to getting published, so I always recommend “testing the waters” with a query letter or proposal before you actually invest in writing a book or article.
There are a lot of writers out there. Why you?
You should be very comfortable with someone who writes for you. If you were to speak with my clients, most of them would probably single out three things:
· First, I have very strong publishing credentials, and can zero in on how to create the kind of high-quality content that you would find in a major book or publication.
· Second, I grasp different subjects and writing “voices” very quickly, and my goal is to sound like “you*, not me - whether you are a professor, a psychologist, a CEO, or anyone else. For larger projects, it is not unusual for me to prepare a style guide that deconstructs your writing voice, in a way you’ve probably never seen it before!
· Finally, I have a service attitude and not a sales attitude, and believe in a courteous and helpful relationship that is focused around your goals and budget.
What geographic areas do you serve?
Anywhere in the world that has running water and an Internet connection! I do the vast majority of my work electronically and via telephone. If your projects require on-site meetings or conferences, I am based in upstate New York and work on-site with clients all over the Northeastern US.